Sol Acres sees ramp-up in sales

By Tan Chee Yuen
/ The Edge Property |
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MCL Land had reason to pop the champagne when 2016 ended with Sol Acres selling more than 70 units in December. The 1,327- unit executive condominium (EC) at Choa Chu Kang Grove is one of the largest, if not the largest EC project, to date. The buildup in sales momentum started from July, with average monthly sales of about 40 units over the next three months. This was double the monthly volume for much of 1H2016. It then escalated to 50 units in October and 56 units in November. The total sales tally to date is 770 units (58%) with a median price of $790 psf.
According to MCL Land, there was no relaunch of Sol Acres or offer of any special packages in 4Q2016. “The sales momentum has been healthy since the project was launched, with average monthly sales hovering around 20 units,” says a spokeswoman in an email response. “We consistently have a pool of potential buyers who like Sol Acres but have waited for the other EC projects to be launched in order to make price and product comparisons. This is typical behaviour of most EC buyers.”
Last year saw the launch of five EC projects — Wandervale in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3, Northwave in Woodlands, The Visionaire and Parc Life in Sembawang, as well as Treasure Crest in Sengkang. Following the launch of Treasure Crest in July, and with no further EC launches for the rest of 2016, potential buyers began to return to Sol Acres, notes MCL Land.
Sol Acres, the largest EC on the market with 1,327 units, has achieved 58% sales to date
The developer had also embarked on an “educational campaign” to reach out to a younger set of buyers for the one- and two-bedroom units in the project. Sol Acres is among the first ECs in the market to offer one-bedroom and one-bedroom-plus-study units. Most ECs are targeted at HDB upgraders and therefore families with children. Unsurprisingly, most ECs tend to offer units ranging from two- to fouror even five-bedrooms.
However, the price of a one-bedroom unit at Sol Acres starts from about $360,000, which is comparable to that of an HDB built-to-order public housing flat. What is more, first-time buyers of ECs are eligible for a housing grant as are those who buy an HDB flat. Further, at a median price of $790 psf, the EC is still 20% to 30% cheaper than a private condominium of similar location and attributes, according to MCL Land. Sol Acres also offers a wide range of condominium facilities.
Given its proposition, Sol Acres was able to attract first-timers in the 23-to-28 age group. The increase in sales in 2H2016 was partly attributed to the pickup in transactions of oneand two-bedroom units from this younger set of buyers purchasing under the fiancé-fiancee scheme, adds MCL Land.
The show flat of one of the units at Sol Acres
Prices of units sold ranged from $356,000 for a 495 sq ft, one-bedroom unit on the ground floor to $992,000 for a 1,163 sq ft, four-bedroom- plus-flexroom unit on the 22nd level, according to caveats lodged from Dec 27 to Jan 3, 2017.
Wandervale, a 534-unit EC by Sim Lian Group, was launched in February 2016. Some 91% of the units have been sold with a median price of $746 psf as at end-November.
More competition is expected with the upcoming launch of iNz Residence, an EC project at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 by Qingjian Realty. According to marketing agents, the developer is targeting to launch its e-application in February.
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 762 (Jan 16, 2017) of The Edge Singapore.

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